Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The German Requiem, section five:

Long ago, our chorus in summer camp sang the fifth section of Brahms’ German Requiem in English. The chorus director tore his hair out from the awful sssibilance that floated in the air every time the chorus sang the word “hosts”. It takes a long time to say “sts”, and since we were amateurs we did not sing the letters exactly together. He could not get us to minimize all the “s” sounds.
I suggested a solution: half the singers should sing the word “host” and the other half should simultaneously sing “hoats.” Together we would sound like “hosts”. I wish he had tried it; he thought it was silly; I know it would have worked.

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